KARACHI, Oct 25: The Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi, has decided to demote three employees involved in the issue of "dubious answer script" of the HSC annual examination, 2004, said a source privy to the board's meeting held on Monday.

The board's chairman declined to give details of the meeting which considered, among other items on agenda, the report of an inquiry into the script tampering, which was almost put in cold storage. However, a couple of members said that the meeting upheld the findings of the inquiry report and recommended severe punishment to the guilty.

When contacted, Prof Iftikhar Zaidi, said that he was not hiding the facts, but also would not disclose the same before the minutes of the meetings were issued, as it was a sensitive matter.

Asked, when the decision against the employees would be implemented and what sort of action would be taken against the candidate whose script was replaced with the one rewritten outside the examination hall, the chairman regretted again.

One of the board members said that it was highly regrettable that the board authorities took a lenient view of the well-organized malpractice which also undermined the credibility and functions of the high-ups.

At least the chairman could have issued show-cause notices to the employees, who were suspected to be facilitators in the alleged foul-play, the member added.

An inquiry committee had submitted its report early September, suggesting severe action against the board's employees involved in the handling of answer scripts and other related jobs. The script in question, along with other ones, remained in unauthorized custody for at least three days.

According to source, the meeting decided that in addition to 'deduction of rank', the employees would be debarred for life from sensitive examination works.

When asked why an action against the then supervisory official of the BIE was not suggested for his alleged connivance in the matter, as referred in the inquiry report, a member said that it did not come in the purview of the meeting, but that of the controlling authority of the board.

Taking other items on agenda, the board also approved funds for purchase of cars for the audit officer as well as information and public relations director. The post of information officer/ public relation officer does not exist at any other educational board, according to another member.

The board also decided to award gold medals, along with a cash reward of Rs10,000 each, for centre superintendents of three government colleges - S. M. Science College, Gulzar-i-Hijri College and North Karachi College, for their commendable services in the conduct of HSC annual examinations, said a source.

The board approved grant of recognition to 10 private colleges in the city.